Karma Sutra

Creator:      Go Nagai
Screenplay:   Seiji Matsuoka  

Format:       VHS
Language:     Japanese with English subtitles
Label:        Western Connection

Running time: 43 mins
Certificate:  18
Catalogue no: WEST 010
Price:        £12.99
Release Date: 11th April 1994


No prizes for guessing what this video is about, so if you are over 18 and like sex, read on. It's from an original story by Go Nagai, who is well known in anime circles as the creator of such videos as 'Devilman'. On the sleeve Helen McCarthy (editor of Anime UK magazine) is quoted as saying 'He knows what he likes. He likes sex. He likes violence and this has both.' Actually, as applied to KAMASUTRA, which isn't particularly violent, this is a little misleading, though it sums up the rest of Go Nagai's work well enough. The hero is archaeologist Ryu Aikawa, a 19 year old Japanese, handsome but sexually inexperienced, with at least two women eager to complete his education. The story is set in modern India, and concerns the unfreezing of the beautiful Princess Syria who has been encased in ice for over 1500 years. A cup filled with sexual fluids helps bring her back to life. However evil forces are plotting to seize the princess and the love cup. The action is fairly amusing and attractively animated, and while the English in the subtitles is sometimes a little odd (apparently it was titled by one of the Western Connection directors, a former Yugoslav) this does not detract from one's enjoyment.

The sex in KAMASUTRA is, well, explicit, but there is nothing nasty and there is no sexual violence. In fact the 18 certificate seems entirely due to British prudery. Not an anime classic, but if you're broadminded why not give it a try? [Geoff Cowie]